Milk allergy and lactose intolerance

Milk allergy and lactose intolerance

The terms ‘milk allergy’ and ‘lactose intolerance’ are often confused or used synonymously. But there are important differences that affect one’s daily diet.

Many people have trouble with milk and dairy products. It is important to distinguish between milk allergy and lactose intolerance.

What is milk allergy?

While milk allergy is very uncommon in adults, it is one of the most common allergies in infants and children. The proteins in the milk are responsible for the allergic reaction. Symptoms occur very quickly after dairy products are consumed. In addition to diarrhoea and bloating, typical symptoms include itchy skin rash, asthma, atypical dermatitis and in extreme cases, anaphylactic shock, which can lead to cardiac arrest. In most cases, children outgrow the allergy by the age of ten.

Diet for milk allergy

Individuals with milk allergy must completely avoid milk and dairy products. Today, a wide variety of plant-based alternatives are available as substitutes for dairy-based milk, cream, yoghurt and cheese. Lactose free dairy products are not suitable for people with milk allergy.

What is lactose intolerance?

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While proteins trigger the allergy in people with milk allergy, it is lactose that is responsible for the symptoms in people who are lactose-intolerant. The enzyme lactase is either absent or the body produces too little of it. As a result, the body is unable to process the lactose contained in the milk. Without lactase, the lactose remains undigested in the bowel and stimulates the development of bacteria. Typical signs of lactose intolerance are excessive thirst, as well as digestion-related problems such as diarrhoea, bloating and abdominal pain after consuming milk and dairy products.

Diet for lactose intolerance

Contrary to people with milk allergy, people who are lactose-intolerant can easily choose lactose free dairy products, which are now available in a wide range. Also, many dairy products, such as hard cheese, are tolerated well, because the lactose is already naturally degraded in these products.

Lactose- and gluten free eating enjoyment

At Schär, we also offer a wide variety of lactose- and gluten free products to enhance your eating pleasure. For many people with gluten intolerance, following a healthy and varied diet that tastes good at the same time is often hard to do on a daily basis. Many of Schär’s breads and rolls, flours, pasta, snacks, biscuits and sweets, as well our Pizza Margherita are both gluten- and lactose free and promise to deliver unrestricted pleasure. You will find an overview of Schär’s lactose- and gluten free products here.